Late to the Party

by Megan M. on November 13, 2008 (Blog) |

I’ve been meaning to make a post all week about how I’ve been loathe to join new social networks because I feel repelled by the constant self-promotion that goes on in them. I’m thinking of getting rid of my MySpace account (and don’t act surprised, either), and maybe a few others. I didn’t have a solution for it before, but I do now. I know exactly what the problem is. And I know because I’m a member of Triiibes now, and Seth said no promote, yes help people. And so that’s what we do. We browse around being useful, supportive, getting to know one another better. And that accomplishes so much more than using our profiles like billboards.

We’re proud of who we are and what we do, but broadcasting that isn’t what our participation in Triiibes is about. It’s about making a difference in the lives of other people, more often and not, and wow do I connect with that.

I’m still a little bleary from the projects I’ve been hauling forward in the last month, so my prose isn’t so perfect. If you want to read a clear, well-written post about exactly this same subject—alarming how exactly on the same page we were all week, and I hadn’t even looked at it until this morning—take a look at Trish’s post at SWIMBERT: Tribal attraction…what makes it or breaks it?

I think more social networks need to gently enforce this kind of atmosphere—where it’s about the tribe, not the individual (and not the individual’s marketing copy). I would join those networks. I would love to make new friends… this way.

Self-promotion is great. Be proud of yourself, be proud of what you do. But don’t engage in it to the exclusion of people. There are amazing people out there, people you can connect with, people whose effect on your life might be amazing. People you could really help. If you swan around wondering what everyone else can do for you, you might never find them.



1 Seth Godin 11.13.08 at 8:14 am

well said

as always!

2 Char James-Tanny 11.13.08 at 9:59 am

Thanks! (I was thinking of posting something similar…instead, I’ll be retweeting now :-) )

3 Kyeli 11.13.08 at 10:26 am

I was talking about this very thing with Pace about two minutes before I checked my reader. (:

We have a friend who’s become an entrepreneur, and she’s always marketing and promoting her business. I don’t feel like a friend anymore, I feel like a potential client,, which is irritating, frustrating, and pushing me away – if we can’t talk about anything but her business, I’m not always interested in talking to her, and the amount I’m interested in talking to her is steadily increasing. This is particularly true in her case because we’ve already said we’re not interested in buying what she’s selling.

It’s also particularly true in all of my friends’ cases because I am a communal, tribe-oriented person. If you’re in my tribe, I’ll do whatever I can to help and support you. However, when I join a new social networking site and am bombarded with people acting as though they’re already part of my tribe, I am immediately off-put and uninterested in actually welcoming them into my tribe.

I agree. We need more non-pushy social networks. Down with MySpace! (;

4 Megan 11.13.08 at 11:20 am

Thanks guys. :} Maybe I should spew sleepy morning babble more often…!

5 Megan 11.13.08 at 11:22 am

@Kyeli Down with MySpace indeed! That’s a post I’ve been sitting on for awhile, too. I think I’m going to redraft my entire mode of dealing with social networks. I think we can raise the quality of them all if we put a little effort into it.

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